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switches and turnouts

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  • Member since
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switches and turnouts
Posted by The Gnome on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 10:49 AM

Hey, folks.  Here is another question from the slow guy.  Trainworld has free shipping for the holiday so it might be time for me to order what I need to set up a siding.  The Porter is slow and should be sidelined while the Mogul goes through.

But surfing the fora and websites has boggled my little brain.  Electrical engineering is not in my tool box.  My controllers will accomodate DCC, but right now all I use is DC. 

Apparently what I need is a turnout, enough track to acommodate the train, and a switch.  After than, I am lost.  Can I use a manual switch?  I could just flip it with a yard stick.  Or maybe a little light switch?  Do i have to get into DCC?

What method is cheap and easy for dummies? I just want to park the Porter then pull it out after the Mogul has gone through.  Then I want to park the Mogul on its own siding while the Porter makes its rounds.

PS this is HO track.  The easy plug and play stuff.

Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share
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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 12:27 PM

The Gnome
The easy plug and play stuff.

Not sure what you mean, something like Bachmann's EZ Track? or is it just sectional track, with no road bed attached?

Anyway, the easiest is to get 2 turnouts, 1 left hand, and 1 right hand, and enough track to make the siding, decide where you want the siding, and put it all together.  Put a turnout on each end, so you can pull in one end, and pull out the other.

If it's in easy reach, you can operate the turnouts by hand, but you can still wire it later for remote operation. 

I'm thinking with a mogul and a porter, a #4 turnout should be fine.

Mike.

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 12:35 PM

    To make a passing siding you will need two turnouts, one for each end of the siding so that you can pull the train into the siding and wait for the other train to pass and after it does you can continue back onto the mainline by going forward.
    I assume you are talking about Atlas True-Track. There are turnouts which have motors to electronically throw the turnout for you with the use of a switch. These are useful in hard to reach areas. Some people use them in all areas. The switch is included with the turnout.
     There are turnout without motors. These you can throw by hand because they snap into alignment.    
    If you are talking about standard style track that is just the rail and ties without roadbed: Some of the turnouts you can use a ground throw like the ones made by Caboose. And some people add motors to them like the kind made by Tortoise.
    Because of my style of layout I can easily reach all of my turnout, so I use Caboose ground throws. Caboose is a company which makes the product in case you didn’t know that. Tortoise is a different company which makes motors. I hope this helps. 

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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Posted by The Gnome on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 1:37 PM

My track is Bachmann EZ track. From what you folks taught me, i know i should by a left and a right turnout.  These are twenty bucks each.  In the online catalogue, i can see a little doohickey comes with the turnout.  It has wires.  Not sure what it is but maybe it attaches to a switch.   Should i buy a ground throw to connect to those wires?  Or something else.  I cannot find a youtube video that dumbs this down enough for me.  Thanks for your help.

Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share
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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 1:59 PM

not the best quality of filming or narration

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by jjdamnit on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 2:35 PM

Hello all,

The Gnome
My controllers will accomodate DCC, but right now all I use is DC.

What do you mean by "controllers"?

How many cabs do you have?

How many control blocks do you currently have?

If you are running DC then you need to isolate the siding and make it a separate control block.

In addition to the turnouts and track, you will need to either gap the rails just past the diverging side of the turnout(s) or use insulated rail joiners.

Then you will need to decide how to control the power to the siding. You can use a commercially available connector like the Atlas Connector (#0205). Or, you can use a Single Pole, Single Throw (SPST) toggle switch. 

If you are running DCC then you do not need to isolate the siding because you are powering the locomotive not the rails.

You mentioned turnout control:

The Gnome
Can I use a manual switch? I could just flip it with a yard stick. Or maybe a little light switch?

I believe there is a manual slider that controls the point position on the side of the turnout. I don't believe you could move this with a yardstick.

Without using DCC for turnout control; from the Bachmann webpage, "Note: All analog turnouts (non-DCC) require 16V AC or DC accessory power supply for operation."

You will need a 16V transformer and circuitry to power both turnout controllers separate from the track power. 

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by The Gnome on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 3:17 PM

Henry, I gave the kid a Like, despite the quality of the presentation.  Now i have to find a kit that has the switches and extra wire.

Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share
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Posted by The Gnome on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 3:21 PM

Jj,

i think this is DCC enables but not sure what that means.  Maybe it means the train is DCC but since i am not using lots of bells and whistles it does not look like DCC.

anyway, i think the video posted by BigDaddy will enable me to buy the correct equipment.

thanks.

Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share
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Posted by jjdamnit on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 5:11 PM

Hello all,

Thanks for the details.

The Gnome
DCC enables but not sure what that means.

Like any other hobbie there is a vocabulary and terminology. At first these terms might not make sense.

To my knowledge the term "DCC enables" does not make sense. Where did you see or hear this phrase?

Adding a passing siding is definitely attainable.

Like any other project it might seem simpler than it actually is.

Glad to hear that the video helps.

If you need further clarification please keep asking. We were all where you are now in terms of knowledge.

Thank you for letting us help.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by The Gnome on Monday, June 18, 2018 7:40 AM

My left and right turnout with extra track and switches arrived in the mail.  Thanks to the video I was able to hook up what I thought was a passing siding.  However, it turns out that when one loco is on the passing siding and one is on the main line, BOTH start running when I turn the knob.  crash, bang, woops. 

The siding is useful for dropping off cars, but running two locos is not going to work this way.

Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share
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Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, June 18, 2018 8:08 AM

The Gnome
The siding is useful for dropping off cars, but running two trains is not going to work this way.

No, it gets complicated. 

DC controls the track, DCC controls the engines.  What you propose is easy in DCC, but we are confused about your DCC enabled controller and what engines you have.  There is expense to convert DC engines to DCC.

In DC there is something called dual cab control, where you can control 2 trains with 2 controllers.  You have to have electrically isolated sections of track, called BLOCKS and each train cannot be in the same block at the same time.

With one cab (controller) you could still make the siding a separate block and park one train there.  It gets tricky running two trains with one controller because one engine ususally is faster than the other.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    May, 2018
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Posted by The Gnome on Monday, June 18, 2018 8:33 AM

Bigdaddy, You are correct; i do not have the terminology down and that makes everyone as confused as I am. 

But I am happy with how it turned out.  My second loco does not stay hold the track very well (On30 Mogul), so I have just parked it.  The little Porter can do just fine by itself.

Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share
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Posted by jjdamnit on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 2:15 PM

Hello all,

The Gnome
i do not have the terminology down and that makes everyone as confused as I am.

Might I suggest ”The Complete Atlas Wiring Book"; Atlas Publishing 2011.

For less than $10.00 it's a great primer in model train electronics and terminology.

Glad to hear your experience with adding the siding went well.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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